BBC period drama Versailles set to shock viewers with FOUR racy scenes in just 17 minutes – along with gay sex, cross-dressing and nudity galore

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Versailles Canal+ BBC

A sauce-filled period drama blockbuster about life in the court of ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV looks set to cause a stir with viewers tonight.

The programme about France’s Sun King Louis XIV airs on BBC2 tonight and features no less than seven saucy sex scenes which include frontal nudity and a dwarf inside the Queen’s skirt.

Made by the French for an English audience, the £24million production depicts life in the King’s 17th century Machiavellian court… but is likely to grab more headlines for the brow-raising sex scenes than the historical references.

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Not for the faint-hearted: The BBC's new French-made series on Louis XIV, Versailles, will serve up some of the most graphic sex scenes ever seen on British TV including this at 9:32pm

Not for the faint-hearted: The BBC’s new French-made series on Louis XIV, Versailles, will serve up some of the most graphic sex scenes ever seen on British TV including this at 9:32pm

Set your watches:The first episode includes gay sex, a cross-dressing prince, and Queen Marie-Therese (pictured), who has a penchant for dwarves

Set your watches:The first episode includes gay sex, a cross-dressing prince, and Queen Marie-Therese (pictured), who has a penchant for dwarves

Zut alors! Noemie Schmidt, who plays Henriette, emerges from the water wearing a see-through garment...inspired by Mr Darcy, perhaps?

Zut alors! Noemie Schmidt, who plays Henriette, emerges from the water wearing a see-through garment…inspired by Mr Darcy, perhaps?

Romping, 17th century style: By the end of  the first hour of Versailles, viewers will already have witnessed plenty of sex scenes

Romping, 17th century style: By the end of the first hour of Versailles, viewers will already have witnessed plenty of sex scenes

The hedonistic French aristocrats will be naked and romping within just two minutes of the BBC period drama Versailles starting.

It airs at 9.30pm tonight and by 9.32pm, the sex-crazed king, played by British actor George Blagden, is being ridden by topless French actress Alexia Giordano.

At 9.47pm, Queen Marie-Therese is seen with an African dwarf inside her skirt.

Just a minute later, Swiss actress Noemie Schmidt, who plays Henrietta, emerges from a pool of water in nothing but an entirely transparent white negligée.

She and the king are seen rolling around naked in an extravagant bed inside the French palace just 60 seconds later at 9.49pm.

There are even more sexual scenes in tonight’s opening episode, which is the first of ten in a series that could rival the BBC’s War and Peace for sex and nudity.

Much like War and Peace did for James Norton, Versailles is set to make a huge star of Vikings star George Blagden, who dons a frilly shirt, wig and heels to play the rampant Sun King.

The mini-series also features Game Of Thrones actress Elisa Lasowski, who plays Marie-Thérèse, in a show of flex that is set to rival the pornographic scenes shown in the series on Sky.

Avert your eyes if you're prone to blushing: early scenes from the ten-part mini-series promise sauce galore

Avert your eyes if you’re prone to blushing: early scenes from the ten-part mini-series promise sauce galore

Mon dieu! The Sun King appears to have romped his way through much of his 72-year reign, at least according to this interpretation  

Mon dieu! The Sun King appears to have romped his way through much of his 72-year reign, at least according to this interpretation

The womanising king was put on the throne at just four years of age in 1643, and stayed there until his death in 1715, some 72 years later.

This is a production that seems to have a script lathered in artistic license with reviewers suggesting that actual facts often play second fiddle to salacious sex scenes.

Blagden says he felt uneasy about disrobing; the first episode sees him bury his head between the thighs of his mistress, played by Sarah Winter.

He said: ‘Sex scenes are always awkward.

‘Anyone that’s ever done a sex scene in our industry know that they are the most embarrassing and really awkward as they’re really technical, difficult to shoot,’ he said. ‘I’d not done a lot of them before these series.’

The programme explores the debauched heart of the court of Versailles, a world of skulduggery, political manoeuvres and declarations of war, and sex.

The king married young but was free to bed whoever he chose, and the era was famous for aristocratic romances.

 Louise De la Valliere, the Sun King's mistress is central to the saucy antics; De la Valliere bore Louis XIV five children

 Louise De la Valliere, the Sun King’s mistress is central to the saucy antics; De la Valliere bore Louis XIV five children

The show looks set to make international stars of its casts including George Blagden as Louis XIV and Alexia Giordano as Nymphe

The show looks set to make international stars of its casts including George Blagden as Louis XIV and Alexia Giordano as Nymphe

For Blagden, the best part was playing one of the most colourful figures in history, he said.

‘It’s a bit of a big undertaking. But it’s the role of a lifetime,’ he said. ‘His nickname is the sun king, and he’s known in France as the king who created luxury.’

The show has already proved a massive hit in its native France, breaking television records and subsequently being sold onto 135 different countries.

The BBC negotiated the UK rights to show Versailles as part of its bid to secure a hit to rival the success of ITV’s Downton Abbey. It is yet to confirm a broadcast time for the ten-part series, which is expected to be screened in May, but it will be shown on BBC2 after the watershed.

Sue Deeks, BBC head of programme acquisition, said: ‘Versailles will be a delicious treat for BBC2 viewers.’

Gay abandon...but will viewers be shocked by the constant steamy content? 

Gay abandon…but will viewers be shocked by the constant steamy content?

Versailles chief ‘pornographer’ is Helen Mirren’s naughty nephew

Racy BBC drama Versailles, which begins tonight, is said to have love scenes so saucy one Tory MP described it as ‘porn dressed up in a cravat and tights’.

Helen Mirren pictured with her nephew Simon, who co-wrote the racy new BBC series Versailles

Helen Mirren pictured with her nephew Simon, who co-wrote the racy new BBC series Versailles

It has won over Dame Helen Mirren, whose nephew Simon, co-wrote the series. ‘Helen told me she was overwhelmed,’ Simon says.

The Oscar-winner attended a screening in the French palace where the drama is set. ‘I was the one on stage, not Helen, and that blew my mind,’ Simon tells me. ‘It was one of the biggest vanity events of my life.’

Mirren, 70, has appeared in ten nude scenes, but declared last year she would not do another. ‘That’s the good thing about getting older, you don’t have to do that sort of thing any more.’

The plot also follows the king’s restless homosexual younger brother Philippe, Duke of Orléans – known as ‘Monsieur’ in court – pleasuring his nobleman lover Chevalier de Lorraine in a scene shot for maximum shock value.

As the camera pans away from the nobleman’s face to the pool of hair in his lap the viewer is likely to assume his lover is a woman until it meets Philippe’s face.

The series has already been described as among ‘the filthiest TV ever’.

Sam Burnett, of Mediawatch UK, said: ‘Dressing up pornography and violence in a cravat and tights doesn’t make it cultural.’

Makers Canal Plus have also ramped up the violence. Graphic scenes of torture in the opening episode include one of the king’s enforcers bludgeoning a man to death with a hammer. In a later episode a man’s hand is severed at the wrist.

The man behind much of the provocative drama? Helen Mirren’s nephew, Simon Mirren.

It has won over the British actress, says Simon, who co-wrote the series. ‘Helen told me she was overwhelmed.’

The Oscar-winner attended a screening in the French palace where the drama is set. ‘I was the one on stage, not Helen, and that blew my mind,’ Simon tells me. ‘It was one of the biggest vanity events of my life.’

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